This slideshow includes my predictions for the division standings, wild-card berths, playoff predictions(including how many games), and who I think will win the World Series. It also includes who I think will win all the major baseball awards such as MVP and Cy Young. Feel free to comment on what you think.
1. Boston Red Sox
They will be hungry for more glory after getting swept by the Angels, and the signing of John Lackey will boost the rotation's depth.
2. Tampa Bay Rays*
The Rays went to the World Series two years ago, and they have a young team with a lot of upside to possibly go back.
3. New York Yankees
The Yankees are aging and may experience a World Series hangover being in the toughest division in baseball, and their rotation isn't as good as Boston's and Tampa Bay's, but however it turns out, it will be a close three-way race.
4. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles could make a push for contention if their young stars such as Brian Matusz and Matt Wieters can have breakout seasons.
5. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are in rebuilding mode after trading away Roy Halladay and don't stand a chance in a division as tough as the AL East.
* wild card
1. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox made a splash by trading for Jake Peavy, and that makes their already solid rotation even better, and if their offense can bounce back, bank on an AL Central title.
2. Minnesota Twins
The Twins are coming off winning the AL Central in a one-game playoff victory, and they will face stiff competition with both the White Sox and Tigers being AL Central title contenders.
3. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers lost Curtis Granderson, and their offense isn't the powerhouse it used to be, and the back end of the rotation has questions.
4. Kansas City Royals
The Royals saw their young star Billy Butler break out and Zack Greinke win a Cy Young, and the building of the team is starting to show.
5. Cleveland Indians
The Indians will likely have to play in a last-place season after trading Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, and CC Sabathia.
1. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners had the best offseason. Ichiro and Chone Figgins together creates a fearful offense, and Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez is the best rotation 1-2 in baseball.
2. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have questions surrounding them with Brandon Wood filling in for Figgins and whether a new ace can emerge to fill Lackey's shoes.
3. Texas Rangers
The Rangers signed Rich Harden who is solid when healthy, but being healthy is a big concern for him, and the rest of the rotation is shaky. The offense is stable though.
4. Oakland A's
The A's are continuing to rebuild with their young prospects and won't be in race this year but may emerge in a year or two.
1. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies traded away Cliff Lee but got Roy Halladay in return, and he and Hamels provide a great 1-2 punch, and the offense is a powerhouse.
2. Atlanta Braves*
Bobby Cox is in his last season as manager, so the Braves will be extra motivated to perform well this season, and they have proven to be capable contenders.
3. Florida Marlins
The Marlins are a possible sleeper with a solid rotation, and superstar Hanley Ramirez leads the lineup with other batters like Dan Uggla and Jorge Cantu behind him.
4. New York Mets
The Mets are a mystery this year. They had a lot of injuries in their lineup, but even if it stays healthy, the pitching is questionable, so I'm not banking on the Mets contending.
5. Washington Nationals
The Nationals have a possible savior in Stephen Strasburg, and if he lives up to expectations, the team can only go higher, but they're still rebuilding.
* wild card
1. St. Louis Cardinals
The signing of Matt Holliday takes pressure off of Albert Pujols, and the pitching can also carry them to another NL Central title.
2. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs have gone 100 years without a World Series, and having Lou Piniella as manager doesn't help matters.
3. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds signed Aroldis Chapman from Cuba, and he could prove to be a diamond in the rough, and the rest of the rotation could make them contenders.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have a powerful offense with Braun and Fielder, but the rotation aside from Gallardo is shaky.
5. Houston Astros
The Astros have holes in their offense, and Roy Oswalt is proving to be fragile, and the rest of the rotation other than Wandy Rodriguez is bad.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates may be the worst team in baseball.
1. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are emerging as one of baseball's best teams, and with young stars like Carlos Gonzalez and Jorge de la Rosa emerging, you can't go wrong.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers could win a third NL West title in a row, but it will be even harder with the Rockies and Giants greatly improving.
3. San Francisco Giants
The pitching is there, but the offense hasn't been convincing enough.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks have a weak offense that will hold them back in the tough NL West, but if Brandon Webb can bounce back, he and Dan Haren together are a great pitching duo.
5. San Diego Padres
The Padres have an even worse offense than Arizona, and with Jake Peavy gone, the pitching is mediocre at best.
Red Sox over White Sox in four, Rays over Mariners in five.
The White Sox won't be able to handle the Red Sox's offense and will be shut down by their pitching since they have Lester, Beckett, and Lackey, and Papelbon is a lights-out closer, but most importantly the Red Sox have playoff experience.
The Mariners aren't experienced in the playoffs, but neither are the Rays, so this is a toss-up, but I give the edge to the Rays because of their superior offense.
Phillies over Rockies in four, Cardinals over Braves in four.
The Phillies have the playoff experience and the same team they had in the World Series to go far again, but the Rockies could surprise with their rising young team.
The Cardinals have one of the very few offenses that can take down the Braves' excellent pitching, and Pujols is a great team leader. Matt Holliday won't make that same error ever again.
Red Sox over Rays in six.
This would be an epic ALCS, but the Red Sox have the better lineup, rotation, and bullpen. Joe Maddon matches with Terry Francona in managerial skills though, so if anything could defeat the Red Sox, it's having Maddon as manager.
Cardinals over Phillies in seven.
The offensive battle is a deadlock, and the pitching is about even, but the Cardinals have the better bullpen. Brad Lidge will need to bounce back significantly for the Phillies to succeed this deep in the playoffs.
Cardinals over Red Sox in six.
The Cardinals have Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, which outmatches Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. Both teams have playoff experience, but the Cardinals have more to prove, and being the favorite often leads to a letdown.
AL MVP: Evan Longoria
NL MVP: Ryan Howard
AL Cy Young: Jon Lester
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
AL Rookie of the Year: Brian Matusz
NL Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon
NL Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox